Creating and Contesting Carolina
Proprietary Era Histories
These years brought challenging and dramatic changes to the region, such as the violent warfare between British and Native Americans or British and Spanish, the no-less dramatic development of the plantation system, and the decline of proprietary authority. All involved contestation, whether through violence or debate. The very idea of a place called Carolina was challenged by Native Americans, and many colonists and metropolitan authorities differed in their visions for Carolina. The stakes were high in these contests because they occurred in an early American world often characterized by brutal warfare, rigid hierarchies, enslavement, cultural dislocation, and transoceanic struggles for power.
While Native Americans and colonists shed each other's blood to define the territory on their terms, colonists and officials built their own version of Carolina on paper and in the discourse of early modern empires. But new tensions also provided a powerful incentive for political and economic creativity. The peoples of the early Carolinas reimagined places, reconceptualized cultures, realigned their loyalties, and adapted in a wide variety of ways to the New World.
Three major groups of peoples—European colonists, Native Americans, and enslaved Africans—shared these experiences of change in the Carolinas, but their histories have usually been written separately. These disparate but closely related strands of scholarship must be connected to make the early Carolinas intelligible. Creating and Contesting Carolina brings together work relating to all three groups in this unique collection.
About the Author
Bradford J. Wood is a professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University and the author of This Remote Part of the World: Regional Formation in Lower Cape Fear, North Carolina, 1725–1775. He is also the editor of the letters of merchant and planter James Murray.
"Creating and Contesting Carolina is an impressively researched, persuasively argued, and lucidly written volume on Carolina's proprietary era."—Greg Brooking, Kennesaw State University, William and Mary Quarterly
"Michelle LeMaster, Bradford J. Wood, and the essayists they have gathered together in this volume have made a distinctive contribution to the historiographies on early America and the Atlantic World. The book will be essential reading for all future scholars of the Carolinas."—Joyce E. Chaplin, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, Department of History, Harvard University
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